By Tim Chambers
The long Easter weekend seemed to take the “hop” out of Johnson County’s step against Happy Valley on Monday. The Lady Longhorns had their three-game winning streak ended after falling 9-5 to the Warriors on Bob Kirksey’s Field.
Happy Valley took a 1-0 lead in the first, then followed that up with three more in the second to go up 4-0. Johnson County’s head coach, Angela Blevins, felt like her team was a no-show over the first few innings.
“”We weren’t ready to play from the start,” said Blevins. “The first couple of innings were rocky and we made some mistakes defensively that hurt. Our inability to score in the first inning after getting the bases loaded hurt too. We got a runner thrown out at home trying to be aggressive with two outs, but we let that define the rest of the game. We outhit them but didn’t get the timely ones and they did.”
Blevins hit the nail on the head with her assessment.
Three walks factored in three of Happy Valley’s first four runs in addition to a mental miscue.
Johnson County loaded the bases in the bottom half but couldn’t push across a single run despite collecting three hits. Eden Fenner and Lindsey Wills singled but each was erased by a fielder’s choice. The third out was recorded at home when Marley Eggers was cut down trying to score on Natalie Winters’ single.
The Warriors maintained their 4-0 lead up to the sixth inning. They doubled it to 8-0 by scoring four times in the inning.
Two critical errors and a walk led to three more unearned runs that would be the deciding factor in the game.
The Lady Longhorns rallied to score four runs in the sixth inning that sliced the deficit in half at 8-4.
Lindsey Wills and Michala Cretsinger both singled and scored. Natalie Winters had an RBI double followed by a mammoth home run off the bat of freshman pitcher Hannah Brooks.
Happy Valley picked up an insurance run in the seventh inning to go up 9-4.
The Lady Longhorns loaded the bases in the bottom half with nobody out but couldn’t get the key hits needed to make it a game. Courtney Brooks had a single and scored but the game ended with three ducks on the pond for Johnson County.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.